The Chapelfield shopping mall in Norwich city centre, built on the site of an historic Rowntree Mackintosh chocolate factory, was reportedly the largest shopping centre in the UK when it opened its doors in 2005.
The enormous development, which includes 80 shops and 17 cafes and restaurants, is operated by intu, a shopping centre management specialist which runs 17 malls and retail destinations across the country.
Two way radios were already used by centre management, staff and security workers. But the old analogue Kenwood system was nearing the end of its life, and was no longer providing adequate coverage across the large complex.
Large Scale Installation
Following a competitive tender process during which Brentwood technicians made several site visits and drew up in depth plans for a custom built network, we were delighted to win the contract and start work on the installation. It was a major project, involving running more than one kilometre of cabling for the antenna system alone, which was linked to two high power Motorola SLR8000 repeaters to guarantee excellent coverage in every part of the centre.
Along with the network hardware, we also supplied three different digital handset models. Shopping centre management opted for the Motorola SL4000e, an advanced feature digital two way radio built to be compact and easy to carry. Resembling a mobile phone in size and design, with a colour display, navigation scroll button and a 12 button keypad, the fact that the SL4000e could fit easily into a pocket appealed to management who were often on their feet moving around the centre.
For security staff, we supplied a fleet of Motorola DP4601e handsets. A larger and sturdier model than the SL4000, the DP4601e comes with a range of emergency alert features, such as Emergency Button, which overrides all traffic on the network when an alarm call needs to be made, and the remote monitoring Lone Worker system. The DP4601e is also GPS enabled for satellite location tracking, and the display meant security staff would be able to identify who had triggered an alert on the network.
All other staff were supplied with DP4401e handsets, a non-display model built to the same specifications as the DP4601e.
The whole system was linked to a Motorola TRBOnet server, which was in turn hooked up to two PCs to provide a central control centre for the network. From here, operators are able to utilise the system to send dispatch notifications and coordinate the entire team. The software installed on the server included Capacity Plus, which intelligently manages channel availability, maintaining communication flow by always ensuring a free channel is available to make a call – important for a large scale operation like a shopping centre with so many users on the network.
Find Out More
Brentwood Communications has more than 40 years’ experience supplying two way radio networks to every sector in the economy, We specialise in developing bespoke solutions for large scale operations in retail, leisure, entertainment and logistics, plus many more besides. We pride ourselves on our expert knowledge of the technology available, which means we can always find the answer no matter what our customers need.
To find out more, please contact us on 01245 403520.